Artport’s non-profit gallery aspires to create a supportive and experimental environment for artists and curators. The gallery program includes exhibitions initiated by independent curators and shows with Artport-affiliated artists
A Solo Exhibition by Natalia Zourabova16.2.23-15.4.23
Hundred Muscle Army8.12.22-4.2.23
And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan. [Judges 12: 5–6]
Loose lips sink ships. So do the palate and the tongue. The way we move the different parts that make up our mouth, the way the air passes through the throat, the way we pronounce certain letters and words and put together sentences, the way we activate the hundred muscles required to produce a sound—is essential to our identity. But more than that, it is fundamental to the way in which others understand, hear, and judge us.
In biblical times, it was the word shibboleth (swirl), whose pronunciation sealed fates. The Ephraimites, who tried to escape back to their land during a war, pronounced this word with an S sound rather than SH. The Gileadites, who needed a ruse to identify them, ordered everyone who took the passages of Jordan to say the word shibboleth aloud. The men of Ephraim, who pronounced this word as sibboleth, were thus identified, captured, and thrown into the stormy waters.
In the 13th century, during the Sicilian revolution on the outskirts of Palermo, the local word for chickpeas – ciceri – was used as a test to identify the French conqueror who was hiding in the city. In World War II, the Dutch underground used the district name “Scheveningen” to identify German spies, and the way the letter H is pronounced was used during the Irish Civil War to distinguish between Protestants and Catholics. Now, Ukrainian soldiers use the word palyanitsya, the name of a traditional Ukrainian bread, to identify Russian soldiers posing as Ukrainians.
The practice of identifying a person based on the way he pronounces certain sounds did not, however, end with the group of armed men who stop you on the side of the road and ask you to say a given word. It has also passed through the bureaucracy and become assimilated into the system as a legal and legitimate mode of identification, when various countries in Europe began using it to determine whether or not the person standing before them without possessions, documents, or passport was indeed entitled a refugee status. The only thing left for him—the vocal ID he carries with him—now determines his fate. 70% Syrian vs 60% percent Iranian, traces of a Sudanese accent alongside an Eritrean vocabulary—indices that try to become measurable, a tangled personal biography rife with twists and turns, which is translated into a single label.
Effi and Amir delve into the depths of the technological world that surrounds the modern Shibboleth tests. Using scientific and medical tools, they tell the human stories of those whose identity has been deconstructed into their vocal apparatus and reduced to a single sound, which they can or cannot produce. They examine the way in which the system sees the individual as part of an array of characters and signs, and the persistent attempts to instill order and logic in an elusive reality and a world of fluid boundaries.
The work wanders between the different territories: the sonic, anatomical, and political, and between the diverse apparatuses by which the subjects are measured: the medical, scientific, and intuitive. From a Tibetan asylum seeker to an Iraqi refugee; from a transgender who undergoes voice adaptation to the checkpoint at the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport. The work moves back and forth between those producing the sounds and those who listen to them, between the accent we hear and the accent heard by the world, between the external border crossing point and the inner border that we carry with us wherever we go.
“NonFinito 2022,” the year-end exhibition of the Artport residency program, presents new ideas and projects that took shape on our two studio floors over the past year.
Originally referring to unfinished sculptures by Renaissance masters, the term “non finito” also indicates the conscious desire to represent ideas in various stages of implementation, challenging notions of outcome, conclusion, and end. This year, “NonFinito” also stands for the possibility that we will not always be able to finish what we began; that not everything is in our hands. Memento mori (Latin: remember you must die) is the insight that danger and desistance are out there, waiting for us; an insight that has become more substantial this year. Under the so called “new normalcy,” we are experiencing a year of adjusting to life after; a life lived under a constant reminder that everything can change, everything can come to a stop in the blink of an eye.
Watch the exhibition video:
The notion of memento mori overarches the works in the exhibition: from Keren Gueller’s despondent sharks to Lali Fruheling’s attempts to replicate and immortalize human figures. Unforeseen death is present in Nardeen Srouji’s work, and it also accompanies the three women walking in the city while talking about redemption and miracles in Ana Wild’s work. Our dying day hovers over the rotting scraps of wood, which were formerly swings, in Tomer Dekel’s work, and informs the endless cycle of life and death, water and stone, in Maayan Elyakim’s work.
In a year in which the world is trying to get back on its feet, the works in “NonFinito” confront a changing reality, addressing the growing gaps between reality as such, and reality as perceived today and in the past. They delve into the shifting boundaries and the ever-shrinking gaps between reality and imagination, between the here and the now, trying to find within them the human and the personal, a foothold from which to move on.
Keren Gueller’s video and sculpture installation consists of footage shot at the Toronto Aquarium. The reality in it appears staged: a great white shark that threatens nobody floats passively, like the tourists around it, who are transported on a conveyor belt from one attraction to another, to admire domesticated wild nature.
Lali Fruheling duplicates her residency fellow, Ana Wild, in silicon. She seeks the distortion in the act of copying and embraces the imperfection of both sculpture and life.
Tomer Dekel uses former amusement park swings to construct a new world, which preserves the potential inherent in them.
Ana Wild’s space and sound work presents three women in a nocturnal stroll, absorbed in a conversation about miracles. Their voices shift between the multiple loudspeakers, drifting in the space and infusing it with movement.
Nardeen Srouji constructs and unravels the traditional Palestinian red cross-stitch embroidery and its symbolism before the viewers’ very eyes in countless ways, until it becomes an abstract sign.
Maayan Elyakim peruses the fountain in the inner courtyard of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, as part of his ongoing practice centered on the encounters between cultures from different times, and the interrelations between sculpture, architecture, and photography.
Dilating in the Dark7.7.2022-28.8.2022
A suggestion made by a friend, a brain researcher, led Maayan Shahar to Ichilov Medical Center. She drank a prescribed dose of a drug and wandered the white corridors accompanied by an assistant. She then lay down, was inserted into an MRI scanner, and let the machine linger inside her head. The machine slowly monitored brain tissue, scanned her body vertically and horizontally from the crown of the head to the base of the spine, and ultimately produced a printout: layers of blacks, whites, and grays; scans recounting her brain.
The use of hallucinogenic drugs is prevalent in research exploring different treatment therapies seeking to alter the consciousness. These drugs cause a dissociative experience, leading to a sense of defamiliarization and estrangement from reality, allowing one to observe it anew and gain fresh insights. It is an intuitive perception which differs from the sensory perception we know, one which does not adhere to the sense of self whether physically or in terms of identity. It produces a momentary capsule reality in which the mind’s attention is suspended, opening a window to one’s inner self—a rare experience to which we are unaccustomed as adults, whose comprehension of the present relies on memories, feelings, and past experiences, alongside a desire for a predetermined future experience. It is an opportunity to return to the experience of the child, who is not yet in line with his self-identity, which will dissolve over the years and be replaced by a structured reality.
Through the title of the exhibition, “Dilating in the Dark,” Shahar reminds us of a well-known scientific fact: even if it takes a while, the eyes will eventually adapt to seeing in the dark. It is an invitation to a short-lived dive—until the senses come around and can once again tell the different layers apart, grasp space and depth, notice the intrinsic range of colors, knowing that everything will be back to normal shortly.
In Shahar’s new works, black is revealed in a broad scale of textures and colors. It shimmers amid the asphalt stones, which she has meticulously separated and carefully set in a new order on the traffic cones, as if they were precious gems. It shines through the dozens of cable ties fastened in a sequence to the acrylic glass incisions. Matte black meets glossy black. Bubbling, it is reflected through the spaces in the dark murky water. It is granular and opaque, rising and falling like a topographical map. Looking at the surface, one can envision the fingers that sculpted it. It is rough to the touch, and velvety elsewhere. It is present on a glass marble akin to an expanding pupil, trying to adapt and see again in the dark. It swallows you, and at the same time—makes it possible to surrender.
In the many databases available to us today, the functioning of the brain and the way it affects consciousness are still in the dark. With the help of an algorithm, it is possible to decipher and define our neural networks, their essence, interconnections, and hierarchy, but most of the time the data will be examined according to collective criteria. Little is deduced from data regarding the brain’s shape on the individual’s personality structure or way of thinking. Personal experience is still nonmeasurable.
The desire to comprehend takes Shahar on a journey. But the occult must be approached with realistic eyes: the gallery floor is strewn with warning signs, a cluster of cones stands in the center of the space, asking one to stop, or possibly wishing to guide—scattering beams of light, marking a way that will lead us to safety. The asphalt that has covered them drips back to the floor nearby, embracing the gallery walls, strengthening its grip. The aluminum-cast hands that performed the act now hold onto the face and mind. The links of the chain connecting them fail to opt for one side in the balance between the lobes, pendulating and filling the space with a monotonous sound. The struggle between two buckets hanging from the ceiling is juxtaposed with two suspended soft drink cans held in an embraced. Brain scans are hung at eye level, but allow us to observe consciousness, asking not to be swallowed back into the darkness. The missing parts of the sculpture lying on the floor reveal a vibrating pool of water beneath them, a metallic silverfish diving in head first.
Shahar’s practice includes collecting objects and materials from her immediate surroundings—the house and the street, as well as frequent visits to building supply stores. In the studio she scrutinizes them with external eyes, devoid of a past, altering, wiring, and carrying them to different realms. She re-sculpts the material, using its history, thereby charging it with a new meaning.
In her work spaces, Shahar delves into the unknown each time anew. Distancing and alienation herself from the familiar reality, she dares to drop the terra firma to which she is accustomed and stay put in a shaky terrain. The lack of knowledge here is a blessing; it is a refreshing reservoir of research, possibilities, and questions. Shahar walks confidently into the darkness, into a boundless space. Like a daydreamer, she gropes forward in the dark with her hands, relying on the connection between her brain and her hand to lead her the right way, confident that her eyes will get used to seeing there, too, in complete darkness.
And Other Stories7.7.2022-28.8.2022
The walls in Netai Halup’s studio are high, towering upward in off white, with drill holes here and there. Scarce furniture dot the paint-stained old terrazzo flooring: a table, shelves laden with iron rods. The north wall boasts large windows, and in the morning the sun bathes the studio with dazzling light, that grows brighter during the day. There is one office chair that rolls through the different sections of the studio, and in the middle—an empty space.
The empty space assumes alternating roles. One moment it is a construction site: dirty wooden molds stand in the center, ready for casting; sacks of cement are poured into a black tub, buckets of water are mixed in, iron rebar and pigments are introduced to the concrete mix, formulas are scattered on sheets of paper, weights are calculated. In another moment it is an archive: geometric concrete objects-bodies in pastel shades are taken off the shelves, sorted into series, and lined on the floor. And under a different light, the studio takes on the appearance of a rehearsal room, just before the curtain rises: an object at the far end of the space is lifted and moved to the center; an adjacent object leans against another similar object, probing its grip; one element climbs high on another unit; a concrete square placed on Persian lilac-wood legs exercises stability; a coin balances a swinging rectangle.
In the initial dialogue between Halup and his bodies of work, the artist plays the role of creator. He creates them from scratch, drawing and planning their form and structure, connecting materials and quantities via internal movement. Flexibility is an important component in the work’s construction, but his practice is underlain by the knowledge that if miscalculated, the body will not be able to bear its elements and form. To release life from the material, the dosages must be accurate, but also surprising.
In the earliest story, the first man was composed of a corporeal substance—dust, and all the literary characters thereafter started as raw materials and received the spirit of life from their human creators: in the synagogue’s attic, a rabbi sculpts a golem in clay using holy letters; in the carpentry workshop, an old man carves a child in wood; in an old boarding house, a doctor mixes body parts and chemicals to create a monster.
By the same token, Halup creates familiar geometric elements characterized by heavy materiality, and only later, once installed, does he breathe life into them. The concrete, which is associated with weight, non-elasticity, and massiveness, masquerades, acquiring lightness and a sense of hovering in the gallery space. Bathed in soft, delicate colors, it is inspired by harmony and calm alongside tension stemming from its installation mode. The sculptures surrender living features from the very first glance: they are slender, rising upward nobly. Delicate and vulnerable, they seek comfort in each other. They are shy, modest, and somewhat submissive, appearing to be on the verge of collapsing, ostensibly striving to merge with the gallery’s existing floor tiles.
In her poetic approach, and specifically in the dance piece Figure a Sea, choreographer Deborah Hay lets the dancers manage their own movement spaces. Spending a long period of time together in the studio, she constructs the shell, creates the necessary conditions, defines the boundaries, and infuses them with her diverse dimensions and qualities. When the dancers take the stage, the body embarks on a quest of self-reflection, moving in the space naturally, like a flowing, independent entity. Asking “what if?,” Hay enables the dancers, as well as the work as a whole, to transform into a sea of countless possibilities. The learning process and separation from the choreographer spawn real freedom, furnishing viewers with the ability to observe a spectrum of transient, synchronous instances, meeting points, and connections that hold an element of surprise for her too.
The concrete works featured in And Other Stories likewise generate a dance of human artistry. The sculptural creatures scattered in the gallery space, charged with the DNA of the creator who breathes life into them, rise against their maker and embark on a new path, independent of their origin, engaging in their own dialogue and collectivity. Assuming that anything is possible and the works will embark on their independent path in any event, all that is left for Halup is to take his place as yet another body in the cluster of bodies he has created. He is no longer the parent watching from above, but rather plays an active role in the newly-created world. He moves the bodies and orchestrates various scenarios that become stand-alone paradigms. It is a dynamic space of interactions: his creatures seek a foothold on the gallery walls and floor; they lean against one another and support each other. Each combination of several sculptures generates a new story, which may change in the next scenario, depending on the dancers, the time, place, and space. Even if we wanted to stop the story-dance, it would be impossible because it is endless.
Although movement depends on a space of time, taking place and slipping away elusively, Halup sensitively freezes the fraction of a second in which the action occurs. At the same time, with the help of the viewer who wanders around the gallery, encircling the sculpture, orientation changes and the static body gains continuity. Halup thus lightens the heavy cast sculpture abruptly, expanding the sculptural mechanism and allowing it to be spontaneous and active.
In an anthology of short stories, the story which gives its name to the whole volume is not necessarily the most important one. Equipped with a profound understanding and an emotional connection with the material and the potential inherent in it, Halup gives us a glimpse of the simple, minor stories through the material. He confronts us with the need for the other, for the necessity of fragility and cracks, demonstrating separation alongside containment, and allowing us to imagine the next act.
When the sun set the howls begin, this is the singing of the Golden Jackals. They welcome the moon that symbolise the beginning of another day in their urban life.
The Synanthrope Preserve invites you to walk in the paths of the urban wild life that inhabits Ganei Yehoshua Park (Yarkon Park). Hopefully, we are going to encounter one of the marvelous creatures that had returned to the park after years of exile – the Golden Jackal.
“Golden Howls” is an audio and AR journey through the Ganei Yehoshua Park (Yarkon Park). Participants are welcome to listen on their cellphones to a walk in the footsteps of the jackals and their cubs, follow in the footsteps of the Egyptian jackal “Anubis” and observe the various meeting points of man and wildlife, living around the park.
Through a designated app, in a 50-minute tour, participants will observe the park like they have never before. Viewed from their phone screen, they will discover more layers in the park’s story and the animals that inhabit it.
Gal Nissim creates urban interventions – her artistic actions interfere with the web of life in the city while trying to intervene and change the viewer’s perspective. Golden Howls is part of the Synthropical Reserve project that began in New York and follows synthropical animals – animals that live amongst man and thrive by being close to him, especially by his garbage. The project has so far included tours following raccoons in Central Park, following rats in Tompkins Square Park, and following pigeons in Washington Square Park.
While technology often distances us from the environment surrounding us, Nissim uses technology to bring us closer to nature and understand it in different ways. The path following the jackals in Golden Howls reminds us that one does not have to move away from the city to encounter the wild nature that surrounds, and that the city limits, like our affectionate limits to certain animals, are purely artificial. No more real than the artificial lake unfolding before us in the park, no more realistic than the augmented reality picture revealed to us on screen.
In the past year, Artport has started operating in the public space, first in projects around Artport’s building – “Wall Piece” by Dor Zlekha Levy, which was projected on a building on Ha’amal Street, and “In a Nutshell” by Yael Frank – a sculpture of a palm tree falling from the roof of Artport. “Golden Howls” is Artport’s first project taking place in a public space that does not surround its building, and is part of a broader intention to continue operating in other areas throughout the city.
Meeting point at the Sailing Lake plaza (in the northwest corner), Ganei Yehoshua, Tel Aviv
The tour is a personal tour of each participant individually, and includes a 50-minute walk according to the instructions that will be heard by each participant’s headphones, through the app that will be downloaded to his or her phone device.
The tour is recommended for children aged 12 and up.
When asked to go up the stairs, there is an accessible path on the left that reaches the same point.
It is recommended to download the app in advance from the app stores or use the Web App (does not support AR). Please arrive with a charged headset and smartphone.
It is recommended to start the tour about an hour before sunset (around 18:30 in the summer months and 17:00 in the winter months). Check out sunset times.
Directions and parking:
For those with vehicles, a recommended parking:
Ganei Yehoshua parking lot, Rokach 94, Tel Aviv-Yafo (Ahuzat HaHof parking lot). From there walk the main path of the park heading south to the lake.
Ganei Yehoshua Park (Yarkon Park) – kurkar parking lot, entrance from Rokach Street, Ramat Gan, number 74 (free parking). From there walk through seven mills towards the northwest corner of the lake.
How to get to Ganei Yehoshua Park in Tel Aviv-Yafo, via public transportation:
Buses: 278, 44, 47, 48, 57
Israel Railways: Ashkelon – Netanya line, Beer Sheva Central line – Kfar Saba, Beit Shemesh – Netanya line, Binyamina – Rehovot line, Herzliya – Jerusalem / Yitzhak Navon line.
The project is presented by Artport, and is done with the generous support of Mifal Hapayis, Asylum Arts, and Ganei Yehoshua (Yarkon Park).
By seeing how images operate, we can go beyond the borders of what most images present us, beyond what most images want us to see, and by doing so, we no longer see the image, but the counter image.
– Kevin B. Lee, Harun Farocki: The Counter-Image
The intimate installation of The Counter-Image brings two generations of artists together: one is filmmaker, artist, and essayist Harun Farocki (1944–2014), among the most influential figures in the development of the “video essay” genre and videography; the other is media researcher and critic Kevin B. Lee (b. 1975), one of the world’s most outstanding practitioners in this genre. Several years ago, Lee was commissioned to create a new body of work responding to Farocki’s oeuvre. Harun Farocki: The Counter-Image is one of the outcomes of this project: an attempt to deconstruct and reconstruct the grammar that characterized Farocki’s films, which, themselves, address the deconstruction and reconstruction of the visual language—films, commercials, computer games—typical of modernity since the invention of cinema.
Lee’s artistic-research tribute is presented alongside one of Farocki’s best-known works, Workers Leaving the Factory (1995), which also marked his transition from cinema to art. The artist revisited the first film sequence ever featured to an audience—45 seconds showing the employees at Lumière brothers’ photographic equipment factory in Lyon, France, leaving their workplace (1895). Farocki used this staged documentation as the basis for a collage comprising scenes from feature and documentary films in which workers are seen leaving the industrial factory. The counter-image—”an image of reality that reveals another image [of reality] as fiction,” as Lee puts it—served Farocki to deconstruct the visual cliché of workers leaving the factory, making it a point of departure for a discussion about the affinities between cinema and labor, oppression and liberation.
Finger Food and Future Mistakes24.3.2022 - 28.5.2022
Glasses clink, eye meets eye, hands are extended to be shaken. In “Finger Food and Future Mistakes,” Guy Goldstein brings together two different events—the multi-participant World’s Fair and a small, intimate home cocktail—for a shared inquiry into the forces that drive them and the motivations that set them in motion. From bottles opened for an intimate toast to the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, from a face to face conversation to an outdoor public address system, from the demand not to crowd to the yearning to be part of a crowd. The exhibition delves into the basic need for a human encounter and the places where it bends or adapts itself to the human need for organization, supervision, and maintaining norms. The desire to predict the future goes hand in hand with the need to test and check, and the knowledge of everything that has happened, is happening, and is supposed to happen.
The world’s fairs, which began in the mid-19th century, were a grand celebration of tourism and commerce, the spearhead of scientific, commercial, technological, and artistic inventions and innovations: a huge carnival, embedding monumental architecture along with political and economic considerations, spiced with dreams and curiosity about the future of humanity. The great inventions, the innovative buildings, the exciting promises, were all presented for the first time at the fair—from ketchup to the fluorescent light bulb, from the phone call to the zipper, from the television broadcast, the ice cream cone, the X-ray machine, and the Ferris wheel to Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Seattle’s Space Needle, London’s Crystal Palace, and other icons built especially for the fair. The cities were decorated for the festive event. Phallic structures were erected, and often removed too, in the blink of an eye. The world felt better, if only momentarily.
In April 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened under the title “The World of Tomorrow.” Amid monumental buildings and hovering dirigibles, between pavilions showcasing innovations and inventions from all over the world, crowds of visitors walked around wearing “I Have Seen the Future” pins, which corresponded with the fair’s slogan, promising a glimpse into the “Dawn of a New Day.”
That future, imagined throughout most of the 20th century, is now here. We know it well from movies and books: flying cars, control rooms full of screens, silvery costumes, and teleportation. Only with the turn of the millennium and the insight that this future, which we watched for many years on black and white broadcasts, looks slightly different, we seem to have given up trying to imagine it; a relinquishment that has only intensified in the past two years, in which it has finally become clear that reality surpasses any science fiction movie. Nevertheless—the view of the future, as established throughout the glittering world’s fairs, remained with us: faster, higher, stronger.
When did we stop imagining the future? When did our optimistic outlook change, and alongside the discourse on the dawn of a new day we began to talk about the decline of mankind? When did we stop following the innovations of technology in admiration and began to fear that technology is following us? Using industrial leftovers collected from factories that were closed down, Goldstein creates an alternative existential space, devoid of a clear time or place, a space of imaginary future for an equally imaginary past; a utopian moment in a dystopian present—a possibility for rectification in an incessant sequence of mistakes.
Photography: Tal Nissim
Eastern Skies Blush9.12.2021 - 19.2.2022
According to a Talmudic discussion, one day ends and the next begins “from when the sun sets, as long as the eastern face of the sky is reddened by the light of the sun.” The question regarding the beginning and ending of a day, which is crucial in the context of the beginning and ending of Shabbat, has acquired a new meaning in the past two years, when the elasticity of time seemed to have changed. The minutes and hours lost their assigned meaning and the days became one long twilight.
The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world confused and unprepared. It caught Hinda Weiss in New York in between apartments. Without a permanent place to live, in days of constantly changing plans, she found herself roaming the streets from which those who could afford it had escaped, photographing the public spaces that were changing right in front of her. Between ambulance sirens and the roar of helicopters, between the applause for the medical staff and the calls of the Black Lives Matter protest against the police, Weiss captured spontaneous events that are details of an evolving image.
Via meticulous editing, Weiss presents a video collage that connects the different times: moments of despair and moments of respite, the parks and spontaneous gatherings, movement restrictions and lockdowns. The documented image is her raw material, from which she cuts and paints, builds new scenes and creates a different, parallel, possible reality. While the common use of advanced editing technologies is to falsify reality and present it as different from what it was, Weiss’s video collages bring us closer to reality as experienced. In the exhibition she proposes an intricate view of time and transitional moments; an augmented time which allows forward and backward observation at layers of reality that take place at different times and in different places simultaneously, crystallizing to form one image.
Two years later, we still don’t know what the end of the COVID-19 crisis will look like. We have not yet gone through enough to understand how the pandemic, with its lockdowns and quarantines, has affected us, but our eye has already begun processing the data, forming a perspective, identifying the different shades of the intermediate moment, as we try to make up our mind whether this is the sunset, or maybe it is already the beginning of a new day.
NonFinito 202127.8.2021-6.11.2021 No opening reception
A spirit of deceptive presence inspires the exhibition “NonFinito 2021”; a sense of a reality that is difficult to grasp, of things that are here one moment, and a moment later are gone. To a large extent, this is the spirit of the whole period. Artport’s annual residency program began between lockdowns and continued into them; all the while trying to understand the possibilities and the difficulties, and to provide some stability in a world that was gradually losing it.
But the stormy winds could not help but slip in. The feelings of uncertainty that accompany us all, the illusions of presence and the illusions of reality, can be found in most of the works in the exhibition. The weight that transience has gained this year, and our inability to commit to what will happen in a month, in a week, even in a day, have affected not only the way we experience the world, but also the way we create it.
The origin of the term “non finito” is attributed to the Platonic concept that a work of art can never compare to its heavenly counterpart. The gap between the earthly and the heavenly and all that happens between them is felt and emphasized this year more than ever. The ghosts of the present hover over the exhibition. They breathe into Tchelet Ram’s sheets, hide in Shahar Yahalom’s sculpture tombs, and fill Amir Yatziv’s screen with their virtual presence; their transparent hands are stuck in Roy Cohen’s brass knuckles, they peek at us bare eyed in Shai-Lee Horodi’s works, and in Karam Natour’s they are exposed, virtually touchable.
In a shaky reality, Artport’s residency artists present additional options for observing the world. Instead of comfort, they pose questions; instead of looking down and seeking a terra firma, they look up and seek meaning.
Tchelet Ram sews the contours of furniture, which have fallen out of use from bedsheets: a chest of drawers for a bathroom, built around a bathroom sink; a wardrobe that became part of an artwork, resumed being a wardrobe, and has recently been converted back into a work of art.
Roy Cohen deconstructs barriers and brass knuckles from the violence contained in them by casting them in rubber. Stiffness is replaced by elasticity, the rigid posture—by dance movements, as they come to signify the body they wish to stop, the one they seek to protect.
Shahar Yahalom scatters sculptures throughout the gallery that are akin to hollow tombs for other sculptures, for objects that are no longer there: sculptures of animals which have left behind only a faint echo; pairs of feet fixed to the floor and buried under a mass of material. She continuously examines the balance of power and the ability of an inanimate object to represent a dead body.
Amir Yatziv uses the virtual shooting range of the IDF Shivta training camp as the basis for a new video work, which incorporates an avatar, operated by an actor in an animation suit that copies his movements. The characters on screen imitate the person, who, in turn, imitates them in an endless loop of simulation that strives to create a reality, and of a reality imprisoned within an endless simulation.
Shai-Lee Horodi uses simple means to produce a chiaroscural interplay, and reexamine that which we use mainly to see, but rarely see for itself: the human eye.
Karam Natour communicates with the forces and spirits surrounding him, trying to present the immaterial in matter.
Adhesion2.6.2021 - 31.7.2021
The exhibition cluster “Adhesion” consists of two solo shows presented side by side, connected by fine threads of color, matter, content, and a shared fate.
Orly Sever and Maria Saleh Mahameed worked at Artport in the summer of 2020 as part of the short-term Israeli Residency Program. The program, which replaced Artport’s International Residency Program canceled due to flight restrictions to Israel, provided a studio and accommodation for artists living more than 100 km from Tel Aviv. Sever, from Kibbutz Cabri, and Saleh Mahameed, from Ein Mahil, reunited at Artport and became neighbors for a moment. Each in her studio created a differentiated whole world. Both, however, created a world predominated by thick black that swallows the viewer up like a black hole, requiring a closer look to discover the hidden colors and layers seeking to break forth.
In “Adhesion” they present new site-specific works created especially for Artport gallery. In both exhibitions, the private world infiltrates the space, interrupting and disrupting the flow of everyday life, indicating the lack of natural movement, and confronting us with the total concentration we would have liked to dedicate to the work of art, to the moment itself. At a time when many are engaged in meditation, mindfulness, concentration, and centeredness, the works on view introduce the disturbances and incessant background noises; our inability to do only what we would have liked to do.
A Part from Me26.2.2021-8.5.2021 No opening reception
A residential apartment is being built inside Artport gallery. Front door, kitchen, bedroom, window, driveway. Its boundaries are fluid—the gallery’s interior and the apartment’s exterior blend; its identity is unclear—vacant but teeming with signs of life; its definition is blurred—a proposal for a dwelling within a gallery, inside a new white building, amid old garages, in a neighborhood undergoing transformation from a business to a residential zone, during a period in which people stay behind closed doors.
Curator Vardit Gross explains:
The Hebrew word bayit denotes both “home” and “house,” thus eliminating the distinction between the place providing one with peace and security and functioning as an object of yearning, and the space in which this fantasy is supposed to materialize. The latter often fails to meet the former’s expectations, and be the home we dreamed of, our dream house. We leaf through design magazines, review inspiration boards online, renovate, paint walls, add sofas, cultivate potted plants, replace curtains, but all these efforts are doomed to fail. There will always be something left to do, something that the architecture and interior design cannot cover up. There is a built-in gap between the place where we dwell and the place where we would have liked to dwell; between our control of the house as owners and our lack of control, being just another element in it.
In the exhibition “A Part from Me,” Tchelet Ram and Naama Arad guide us through the house. Via works rife with humor, they explore the gap between the “house” which marks boundaries between exterior and interior, setting us apart from the rest of the world, and the imaginary “home,” the object of our inner desire; between the place to which a person returns at the end of the day, and the place which one never reaches.
“A Part from Me” takes place in the space between the pleasant, jolly, and familiar, and the unknown, threatening, and uncanny. The sense of discomfort arising inside the house erected by Ram and Arad calls to mind the loneliness and foreignness that accompany us even in the most intimate moments. The encounter with the fragile sculptures confronts us with the feeling of homelessness characterizing modern man, who feels fundamentally uncomfortable in his own skin and in his own city alike.
Ram (who is currently participating in the Artport residency program) and Arad (a graduate of the program) have been working in the building since January 2020, creating the works for the exhibition in collaboration with each other. They met weekly for over a year and worked together in the space on the parking level, right below the gallery where they now exhibit. What started as a one-day-a-week meeting grew into two, three, and more long days a week devoted to joint work, mixing solutions, casting substances, sawing, and sewing. Wool sacks were brought in, washed, and sorted, windows were disassembled, fabrics were perforated, and ribbons were threaded. Materials were re-examined, disintegrated, and reassembled. The work was highly collaborative and extremely intense at the same time—Arad’s right hand pours materials, which Ram’s left hand mixes. One sews, while the other holds the fabric. A total symbiosis between two artists who are also good friends. The discussions and arguments, jokes and compromises became a part of the works, blending into the fabric, assimilating into a total artistic partnership. The third partner in the exhibition is the material itself—conspicuously present, it calls for attention and care, constantly asking to be reinvented, to be looked at differently, time and again. The two artists circle around the materials lying on the table—petting, patting, tending to them as one cares for another person, watching curiously to see whose character they are going to acquire.
In the year that has passed since the physical work on the exhibition began, the world has turned upside down. More and more people found themselves holed up in their homes, asking themselves what defines them and their place, what would make them feel at home. After many years in which the relationship between interior and exterior seemed to become blurred, 2020 came along and reintroduced the clear boundaries between the protected private space and the dangerous public space. When reality outside transcends all imagination, Ram and Arad flee into the realms of imagination; as uncertainty takes over the world outside, they rely on intuition, trying to create their own safe place. “A Part from Me” takes place outside the boundaries of the house and outside the boundaries of the self—outside Ram and outside Arad, and in the space between the two of them and the visitors.
NonFinito 202021.8.2020-17.10.2020 No opening reception
The summer of 2019 began with great excitement. After a long search, the new Artport building was opened and the studios were filled with the residency program artists. The safe room was converted into a print workshop, the conference table—into a ping-pong table, and the walls were covered with artworks. Shortly after the annual residency program began, the new participants displayed their work in the group exhibition “Ax Bear Crow.”
Twelve months and a lifetime later, they are once again exhibiting, side by side, works created on site. During this tumultuous year, Artport Gallery, like the rest of the world, closed for several months, but the residency program continued operation. The pandemic that knocked on our door brought Artport’s essence into sharper focus—a place providing artists with space and quiet time to think and create, a space for ideas to flourish, for dreams to become reality.
“Nonfinito” by its very essence is not a graduation show or a concluding exhibition. It presents new works by the program’s artists created in recent months, which reflect the themes that preoccupied them in the past year. It is still too early to understand how the epidemic has affected art, and it is impossible to tell where it will lead us in the future, but it is also impossible to ignore the oppressiveness that accompanies us these days and its implications on the ways in which we create and experience art. The speed with which our eye has become accustomed to the turquoise patches that adorn the faces on the street, the thermometers pointed at us like guns, and the hand sanitizer bottles standing by every counter, makes us doubt the sensitivity and adaptability of that eye. What else does it see? What does it no longer see? And what happens to that agitated eye when it resumes observing works of art?
Yael Frank exhibits a work outside the Artport building that can only be seen from the surrounding streets. A queen palm tree that has lost its will to stand upright, falls from the rooftop, ostensibly collapsing under the burden of the fantasy and meaning we have pinned on it; it collapses but remains hanging upside down on the building walls.
Merav Kamel and Khalil Balabin exhibit a new body of work, spanning wooden sculptures of surrealistic figures, which oscillate between a religious ritual, the onset of a revolution, and an ordinary art class intertwined. These are presented as part of a monumental painting installation, consisting of dozens of works that connect and mesh into one endless scene, challenging the viewer and his/her point of view.
Gil Yefman returns to the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp, at the moment when the residents of nearby Weimar were summoned to see what atrocities took place in the camp. He juxtaposes felt tattoos, which reconstruct the tattoos removed from prisoners’ bodies and kept in formaldehyde, with a mirror in which our image is reflected through the faces of the stunned residents. In the video work Murder at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the two characters, Bad RenRo and Penelope, trickle out of the exhibition “Kibbutz Buchenwald.” While they wander around the museum, a mysterious epidemic breaks out.
Ella Littwitz refers to Dani Karavan’s iconic wall relief hanging at the Knesset—the abode of Israeli democracy. She replaces the limestone with cast basalt, a stone created by subterranean volcanic eruptions.
Dor Zlekha Levy transforms the safe space into a meditative music box, placing a robotic sound sculpture inside it that tries to breathe on its own. Vis-à-vis the external, ever growing sense of suffocation, Zlekha Levy focuses on the act of breathing, with which we deal endlessly these days, even though it is ostensibly the most basic act of life.
In her new work, Ruth Patir observes the non-event in the waiting room of the fertility clinic at the Rabin (Beilinson) Medical Center, where 3000-year old Canaanite terracotta fertility goddesses patiently await care. Brought back to life by the artist, these figurines, which originate in the Israel Museum’s archeology collection, now face the reality of August 2020.
Welcome to Jaffa30.1.2020-7.3.2020
“Welcome to Jaffa” brings together works by three artists who have been living and working in Jaffa for decades.
All working in sculpture, Uri Eliaz, Sophie Jungreis and Nachum Inbar recreate spirit out of matter, breathing life into statues made of wood and stone. With solid materials as their starting point, they create images that respond to matter, exploring and working with it to eventually bring out its true essence and story.
It was following Artport’s recent relocation some months ago that we have gotten to know these artists. The move into our new location, on Ha’amal Street, came with enthusiasm at this new neighborhood. After five years of activity on Ben Zvi Road, on premises that were relatively cut off, we found ourselves at the very heart of the local art scene. Together with our proximity to the many contemporary art galleries and artist studios that have flourished in the area in the past decade, we were happy to discover senior artists who have been working in South Tel Aviv and Jaffa for decades.
The exhibition was born in Eilat Street, behind blue iron doors that enclosed a treasure trove of hundreds of sculptures made of wood. The excitement at discovering these dust-covered sculptures had led us to a journey through Jaffa’s narrow alleyways, into rooms and backyards crammed with sculptures, on to sketchbooks replete with drawing, the sounds of hammers hitting the marble and an art-making that never stops.
“Welcome to Jaffa” presents just several of these artists we met on our way, three who have dedicated whole careers to an art that hasn’t always found its way to Tel Aviv’s museums and galleries; artists who have been working in Jaffa for decades, taking note as the art world grew increasingly distant, having moved in other directions.
As a residency program that targets young and mid-career artists, we are excited to welcome in artists who, of an older generation, have long been based in Jaffa and South Tel Aviv – long before we came along.
Uri Eliaz (1931, Tel Aviv) presents over 60 wooden sculptures made of scraps and residue he has been collecting on the beach in Jaffa since the 1970s.
Nachum Inbar (1940, Ramat Yohanan) presents “The Sculptor and His Sculpture”, a series of stone sculptures chiseled directly in stone, by hand, together with drawings that accompany the series.
Sophie Jungreis (displaced persons camp, Austria, after WWII) presents softly-shaped sculptures made in stone, abundant in curves, body parts and unexpected superimpositions.
Gabi Kricheli In Disbelief5.9.2019 - 9.11.2019
In his early twenties, shortly after Gabi Kricheli finished his military service, he found himself in the United States. The 9/11 attacks pushed him out of New York, and he headed south. He ended up on a long dark drive through a tobacco field. On the nocturnal drive through the endless field, he realized the impossibility of true escape. Surrounded by the painfully beautiful giant flowers, he decided to go back to Israel and pursue art. Now in his early forties, Gabi Kricheli revisits this formative experience from his early twenties.
Gabi Kricheli In Disbelief lingers on the moments of passage towards manhood – from boyhood to adulthood and from growth to stability. The moment when a boy excitedly faces the unknown and also, the crisis which meets the man on his path from adulthood towards the all too familiar and predictable end.
Kricheli learns from his memories. He puts together the puzzle that has made him into the man he is today. He draws out the involuntary memories handed to him by teachers, officers, newspaper headlines, the news reports broadcasted every thirty minutes, and the stories of the Second Intifada, the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the attacks on the Twin Towers. He shakes them up with the unwilling memories; the agony of the military kitchen, the texture of the uniform on the skin, the taste of canned corn, the smell of hotdogs, the pinching of a finger caught in the plastic box of a new CD. To these he attaches his most personal moments; a painting by his father, an engraving from his wife’s book.
In 2012, Gabi Kricheli rented a studio in the old Bezeq phone company complex on Ben Zvi Road in Tel Aviv. Soon after, Artport Art Center opened across the street from him. For four years, Gabi was unofficially part of the program, sharing a bathroom, kitchen, conversation and work tools. In 2016, he joined the last year of the residency program in the complex on Ben Zvi Road.
Armed with his memories and with the haunting images of the nocturnal tobacco field, Kricheli decided to create a tobacco field of his own, inviting the people who shaped his life throughout his twenties to join him in its construction and destruction. His spacious studio was converted into an agricultural site for the year as he moved across to an Artport studio. The artworks were taken out, soil was brought in, seedlings were cultivated, lighting was set up. Behind a heavy metal door, and relying on home-growing methods most commonly used to grow cannabis, Gabi created an alternative artistic infrastructure of heating lamps wrapped in aluminum foil to encourage sprouting, and lighting that simulated daytime and nighttime in shorter cycles to expedite the plants’ growth cycle.
Three aging shirtless men, with varying degrees of baldness, tended to the tobacco field at the heart of the exhibition. Gabi planted the field and cared for it. The musician Kinoro Shel Rothschild composed music for the plants, which he then played for them to boost their growth and flowering. They were good students in straight furrows, listening to his music with an educational map of the Middle East behind him. Artist Yuval Rimon (Zik Group) came to keep the plants company. He slept by their side, filming them for a documentary of sorts. A film during which the field withered and died.
Quickly, the field became a social media sensation, yet then it was attacked by a fatal mealybug infestation. It is not the first whose downfall was the gaze. Lot’s wife turned to look at her ruined city and became a pillar of salt. Orpheus defied the gods and looked behind to see if his beloved Eurydice was following him out of the underworld – and lost her forever. In Fellini’s Rome, ancient frescos fade away the moment they are touched by sunlight, the human eye and the camera. Can the artwork survive the observing and exploring gaze? Can we?
Only some of our memories survive long contemplation and the distance of the years. Personal memories mix with national memories; private trauma mixes with the American and the Israeli trauma. After 9/11, experts in post-traumatic stress disorder came to the United States to teach locals how to deal with the war that landed on their doorstep. But nobody tends to the Israeli men who carry their damages like notches on a hunter’s belt.
In his exhibition, Gabi Kricheli continues to play tricks on viewers and push the fine line between reality and fiction, between art and real life. His work lies in the uncomfortable area between the military kitchen and the sick field, between the crisis after military service and midlife crisis, between the boy who stopped believing in the power of the system and the man who lost his belief altogether.
Performances by musician Kinoro Shel Rothschild, who took part in the video installation will be held during the exhibition:
Sat. Sep. 21st, 9pm
Sat. Oct. 12th, 9pm
Sat. Nov. 2nd, 9pm – closing performance
Artist Talk and Exhibition Tour:
Fri. Sep. 13th, 12pm
Fri. Oct. 25th, 12pm
Closing: November 2nd 2019
Opening hours during the exhibition:
NonFinito 201722.07.2019 - 22.06.2017
NonFinito 2017 is not only the ending moment of Artport’s fifth year residency program, it is also the end of an era. It is the last exhibition at Artport’s gallery on 55 Ben Zvi Road. With its conclusion, Artport will leave the compound on the way to its new location, and the whole area will be destroyed as the first step in becoming a new neighborhood in south Tel Aviv.
Artport is first and foremost a residency program, supporting Israeli and international artists in realizing their ideas and art works. But Artport is also a Venue. Before settling in Bezeq’s old containers, we couldn’t foresee the venue’s influence on Artport’s nature, how it will affect the relationships between its residents, or the artworks developing in it. But the site, the venue and the large outdoor common space all have an influence on what occurs inside the studios and the gallery. Artport on 55 Ben Zvi Road is a place of many possibilities. A place where dreams can develop into ideas, where relationships can flourish, a place that invites everyone to feel at home. We can only hope that the same spirit will stay with us in our next home.
NonFinito isn’t a year end show – it is an opportunity to see projects that were created during the residency year. The current show couldn’t disregard the “end”, a notion that was present from an early stage of the residency year, and some of the projects deal with this issue and with the options it entails.
Gabi Kricheli, whose studio was located at the compound five years before joining Artport, builds a room around a tree he carved a year ago. The tree, part of an ongoing project in which Gabi carves trees all around Israel, is destined to be uprooted as part of the planned construction. Can the tree be detached from the place where it was created? What happens to site specific art when the site itself is taken away?
In Light from a Dead Star, Dror Daum deals with the end of an era through images from magazines that were distributed in Israel while growing up in the 80’s, in a time when books and magazine stores were the main connection to the outer world. What happens to the images that were once your fantasy reference when they lose their subjective role and their relevance is re-determined by passing time.
In Dig as High as You Can, Lihi Turjeman creates her own helipad, whose presence is both calming and disturbing at the same time. The letter H can also stand for Help or Home, while its structure, two long rods intersected by a perpendicular line, seems like the horns of the Altar, which in ancient times could serve as an asylum. It continues Lihi’s work with territories, primal forms, signifiers and signified.
Yaara Zach’s new series of objects combines crutches and leather whips into special tools that stand unstable in the gallery. These objects continue Yaara’s research on the intimacy in the encounter of body and object, the fantasy of an action toward a still object and the connection between violence and beauty.
Gili Avissar disrupts his colorful and active studio. The side entrance leads to a dark and apocalyptic space, where figures in costumes attempt to animate the masks and clothes that fill the room, trying to dig up gold from the eternal darkness.
For the last year, Fatma Shannan, has mainly been painting her own body within a carpet. In NonFinito, she examines the body-carpet relationship in her first video works, through a group of teenagers who scatter carpets on the roofs and streets of Julis, as well as through her own body that floats – through spiritual energy, dybbuk or magic – above the carpet she researched at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Sight Lines5.6.2020 - 8.8.2020
The analog image has a place of honor in the hierarchy of images. Impressive and rich, it has depth and functions as a “guarantee of pristine visuality,” as maintained by artist and theorist Hito Steyerl. The privileged status of the image is closely linked to such notions as originality, idiosyncrasy, and quality. According to Steyerl, “Resolution was fetishized as if its lack amounted to castration of the author.”
The new technologies that have evolved in recent decades, however, have eroded the status of analog photography as well as its associated set of values. The emphasis on the “original” and its aura has diverted to engagement with the image’s mutability and reproduction. Film was substituted by the digital file, leaving behind not only nostalgia for the materiality of the film reel, but mainly longing for the analog logic, and its innate continuity, singularity, and indexicality
Vis-à-vis this aesthetic and cultural perception of analog film production as an indicator of “high-end economy,” on the one hand, and of loss and yearning, on the other, the exhibition “Sight Lines” presents contemporary works in which Israeli and international artists rethink the use of film in today’s world. At the very height of the digital photography revolution—and the resulting need to create a stable representation of reality—these works present a new stance which regards film as a “critical substance”: the history and aesthetics identified with it are used here as a means through which to reflect on contemporary social and cultural processes. It is not a fetishization of the material itself—most of the works were intended to be digitally converted to begin with—but rather use of the nature of film as a carrier of time and a recorder of place, so as to shed light on the way in which we experience, remember, and acquire knowledge today. The poetry, the colorfulness, and the “alchemy of circumstance” (as described by artist Tacita Dean) lost with the transition to digital film are recruited anew in favor of a suspended, lingering gaze on some of the great narratives of modernity—nationalism, capitalism, and progress—the same modernity with which the analog image is so closely identified.
The works in “Sight Lines” address the intergenerational gaps and the crisis of meaning created around the transition from analog to digital film using different strategies. They introduce an unresolved tension between the various technologies, combining reality and fiction to create alternative historical narratives. The traces left by light on the film and the set of occurrences it manifests are used here to sketch a complex picture of the dynamics between reality and its representations. The featured works do not aim to produce total meaning, signify a sequence of actions, or strengthen the status of the auteur. Their sight lines no longer run parallel. The image they put forth criticizes the “pristine visuality” of analog film just as much as it produces such visuality through multiple voices, unexpected cuts, and new stories
Ax Bear Crow21.11.2019 - 18.1.2020
In 1837 following a successful career as a painter, Samuel Morse took the wooden fixture that he used as a canvas stretcher and built the first telegraph device. His fame did not arrive, as he had expected prior to that, from his elegant brushstrokes and his precise giant paintings, but from a whole different set of lines and points. The electromagnetic signs – dots and dashes – were translated into letters and connected to words, enabling for the first time in the history of humankind to communicate remotely. No more drums, bonfires and wind instruments – Morse gave us the ability to deliver long distance messages. We haven’t stopped ever since.
Since the invention of Morse code, there have been many attempts at creating mnemonic devices to easily memorize it. These ideas vary from visual mnemonics, such as drawing each letter of the alphabet with dots and dashes or mapping the elements of the Morse code characters onto pictures, to syllabic mnemonics, based on the principle of associating a word or phrase to each Morse code letter. The Bahr Method is a mnemonic technique that changes the letters of the alphabet into words (Ax Bear Crow) representing dots or dashes. The words are then associated with one another in story form, which uses an associative technique.
The dots and dashes, the most fundamental tools an artist possesses, represent a letter, that represents a word, that becomes a story.
In “Ax Bear Crow” Artport’s residency program artists draw dashes, lines, threads, and points in the constant transition from verbal ideas to abstract ideas and back again. Like a boat deep in the sea calling for help, like the Korean hero of the movie “Parasite” signaling his son, the artists in the exhibition use dots and dashes to mark an idea, then let the idea recreate itself through a whole new set of lines.
Back to Artport13.6.2019 - 11.8.2019
After five years based on Ben Zvi Road in South Tel Aviv, and after nearly two years in search of a new venue, Artport’s residency program is reopening its doors in a new building on 8 Ha’amal St., Tel Aviv.
Marking the building’s inauguration, the program will host the exhibition “Back to Artport”, showcasing works by its Israeli alumni. The exhibition will span two floors, including the gallery and some of the studios.
The residency program will continue under the same format, with six Israeli artists in residence for a year, and international artists and curators invited for shorter periods. Artport Gallery will reopen with a wide range of activities including exhibitions, the annual art book fair, artist talks, professional workshops, reading groups and more.
Artport Contemporary Art Center was founded in 2011 by Jason Arison and is fully funded by the Ted Arison Family Foundation. Artport aims to be a home and a significant milestone for artists in different stages of their career, supporting and enabling the creation of new art.
Motions for the Agenda16.5.2017-6.6.2017
The exhibition Motions for the Agenda activates existing and imagined reciprocal relations between art and law. As such, it cultivates a space in which a courageous and unexpected exchange between the two fields can be manifested. This exhibition originates from a series of meetings between jurists, curators, artists and cultural theorists that has been held for the past two years at Artport under the title Towards Legal Imagination.
The premise of these meetings, as well as the exhibition’s, is that the law dictates and affects every aspect of life while remaining imperceivable, elusive and altogether unfathomable. The power of the law is derived from its all-embracing ubiquity, thus making it difficult to penetrate, resist, reshape and see through the law, let alone see beyond it. Based on these complexities, the exhibition is a proposal to explore and to fashion modes of consciousness, thought, action and political-artistic-legal intervention that thrive at the seam between legal and artistic imagination.
Motions for the Agenda is rooted in this area between law and justice, between the impossibility of interpreting justice and the duty to deconstruct, interpret and reconstruct the law. Deconstruction and art converge at this point in the demand to scrutinize and touch the mystical foundation, the legitimate fiction, that underpin the law. Akin to the man from the country, whose character embodies order and tactics, determination and scheming, quiet intervention and long-term tactics — this exhibition looks at the violent and unjustifiable foundation of the law and at the legitimization of the law and the legal system. In this place, which is before the law, with the law, but also outside it, this exhibition aspires to join hands and walk side by side with the man from the country. It proposes itself as a platform and a roadmap for proposals through which art interprets, critiques, and engages the law from within, alongside it, and possibly even beyond it.
This exhibition and the series of meetings that preceded it aspire to found an environment that brings together art and law to advance critical, creative thinking and action that ask not to harm and destroy, but to animate, imagine, transform and broaden the concepts of law, the judiciary and justice.
Nothing But Longing (NBL#2)Thu-Fri, 23-24.3.2017
Between 2015-2016, 21 Israeli artists and writers stayed at the Curfew Tower, Cushendall, Northern Ireland, a Catholic village with Republican roots.
The unusual small red sandstone Curfew Tower at the central crossroads was built in 1817, based on a building the landowner had seen in China in his travels as a tea and opium trader. It was originally a prison ‘for the confinement of idlers and rioters’.
In 1994, artist/musician Bill Drummond bought the Curfew Tower, and in 1999 he reinvented the tower as an artists’ residency program. He invited artists to reside and produce work that responds to their experience living in the tower and the village of Cushendall.
Each year the residencies at the Curfew Tower are curated by a different organization or individual. In 2014 Israeli artist Sagit Mezamer curated the tower residency for a period of 18 months.
Each artist stayed at the tower for several weeks, working on their own projects, researching, and getting to know the area. The residency offers a somewhat unique experience of isolation from the outer world on one hand, yet a sense of belonging to the local community on the other. Each artist resided alone, with hardly any cellular or internet reception, while at the same time the artists received a warm welcome by the people of Cushendall. The Curfew Tower offers artists the opportunity to become, for a limited period of time, part of a new place, and to imagine the opportunities this once bleeding part of the world has to offer.
In January 2017, a comprehensive exhibition of works produced by the residency artists titled Nothing But Longing #1 was opened at Void Derry Gallery in Northern Ireland.
Curfew Tower Artists: Rafram Chaddad / Jonathan Ofek / Shahar Yahalom / Ron Dudai / Shai Ratner / Yonatan Levy / Talia Keinan & Guy Sherf / Guy Goldstein / Tchelet Ram / Effi & Amir / Keren Cytter / Ido Hartogsohn / Eli Petel / Wanja Schaub / Zohar Shafir / Asaf Ben Zvi / Zamir Shatz / Ilit Azoulay & Mika Hazan Bloom & Jonathan Touitou / Netally Schlosser
Thurs, March 23
7:30pm – Greetings
8:00pm – Performances by Bill Drummond and the Curfew Tower Residency artists
Tracey Moberly (London), will prepare the traditional curry dish served every summer at the Heart of the Glens Festival in Cushendall.
Fri, March 24
12:00pm – Greetings and introduction
12:15pm – ״The long road to peace in Northern Ireland״, Limor Yehuda (Hebrew)
12:50pm – “Towers, Walls, Mirrors and Bridges – Between Northern Ireland and Israel”, Dr. Ron Dudai (English)
1:20pm – ״Psychedelic Altneualnd: Writing of a psychedelic Zionist utopia from a tower Northern Ireland”, Ido Hartogsohn (Hebrew)
2:00pm – Break
2:15pm – “18 months with Israeli artists at The Curfew Tower / Introducing the artists through the politics and mythology of the north of Ireland”, Raymond Watson (English)
3:00pm – Chen Tamir – a conversation with Sagit Mezamer and the Curfew Tower artists (Hebrew)
About the Speakers:
Attorney Limor Yehuda is a legal scholar focusing on human rights and social justice. Limor spent six years at Israel’s Supreme Court as legal assistant to Chief Justice Aharon Barak, followed by eight years at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) where she directed the department for human rights in the Occupied Territories. She is currently a research fellow and PhD candidate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, studying peace processes in ethno-national conflicts. Limor is also a founding member of a joint Palestinian / Israeli moment “Two States, One Homeland” which aims to offer a new paradigm for the solution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict based on equality between the two peoples and the implementation of a conferetaive model.
Ron Dudai works in the fields of human rights, social movements, transitional justice, and punishment and social control. He is especially interested in non-state actors (armed groups, social movements, and human rights organizations), as well as in questions of social control and punishment in the context of political violence. He is co-editor of the Journal of Human Rights Practice, where he previously edited two special issues, on Armed Groups and Human Rights Praxis, and on Dilemmas of Human Rights Activism. His work was published in, among others, Human Rights Quarterly, British Journal of Criminology, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Terrorism and Political Violence, Journal of Human Rights, British Journal of Sociology, as well as several edited volumes. He was awarded the Brian Williams Prize by the British Society of Criminology, which is given to “the best article by a ‘new scholar’, which shows evidence of particular distinction, and makes a valuable contribution to the further development of criminology.”
Ido Hartogsohn, PhD, (b. 1978) Is an Israeli psychedelic writer and activist. Hartogsohn has worked as a journalist for many years, publishing in various Israeli Newspapers, websites and magazines such as Haaretz, Maariv, Ynet, Walla and Nana. In 2009 Hartogsohn published the book “Technomystica”, a philosophical tractate on the relationship between technology (also psychedelics) and consciousness. His PhD thesis, which was written in the Science, Technology and Society Program in the Bar Ilan University examines the role of setting and setting in shaping mid-twentieth century psychedelic research and culture. Hartogsohn is the editor of La Psychonaut, the Israeli psychedelic magazine. He is also the founder of Dailypsychedelicvideo.com, the leading website for psychedelic videos on the web, and psychedelictraveler.com, a community based psychedelic travel site.
Chen Tamir is a Curator at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv and Curatorial Associate at Artis. She was listed by artnet as one of 25 women curators on the rise and by Artslant as one of 15 curators to watch in 2015. Until recently she was based in New York working as an independent curator and also as Executive Director of Flux Factory where she founded an acclaimed residency program and set up a thriving institution. Chen holds an M.A. from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies, a B.A. in Anthropology, and a B.F.A. in Visual Art from York University.
Raymond Watson is a visual artist and writer from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He lives and works in Cushendall. Watson has a substantial body of work influenced heavily by the recent political conflict in the north of Ireland, much of his work revolved around topics of peace building. He has worked on a large variety of art in the community projects. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally. During the 18 months of the Israeli artists’ residency in the Curfew Tower in Cushendall, Watson spent a lot of time with each of the artists. Watson interviewed each artist and later edited those interviews into the book Ireland-vs-Israel.
The Bureau of Authentication23.7.2016 - 28.7.2016
The Bureau of Authentication is inviting you to take part in its first authentication event, on Saturday, July 23, 7:30pm.
The BoA is a performance event in which the artists will examine the physical aspects and background stories of the objects that will be brought in front of them by the visitors of the exhibition. A unique and original certificate will be issued to the participant for their object while a second copy will be entered into the archive of the BoA.
Members of the public are cordially invited to bring objects with plausible stories to the BoA for assessment on July 23, 2016 at 7.30pm.
The performance will be held in three languages (Hebrew, English and Arabic). The participation is open to all.
Please see the attached invite for more information, or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
While waiting for your certificate you are also welcome to enjoy “Above the Black Line” an exhibition exploring the registrar’s recent research in the archaeological site of Masada.
Additional BoA opening hours and objects certification:
Saturday, 23.7 , 19:30 – 22:30
Wednesday, 27.7, 17:00 – 20:00
Thursday, 28.7, 19:00 – 21:00 – Finissage (as a part of Artport’s Summer party)
And by appointment by contacting: email@example.com
Michal Baror and Patrick Hough
The Bureau of Authentication
Golden Hands10.12.2016 - 31.12.2016
The exhibition Golden Hands is the outcome of a year of mutual work between David Adika and Hilla Toony Navok at Artport Tel Aviv, resulting in ideas on aesthetics, space, design and kitsch that developed into collaboration, where each side supports the other, disrupts his work and surprises him.
A conversation between Vardit Gross, Hilla Toony Navok and David Adika
The exhibition Golden Hands is the outcome of a year of mutual work between David Adika and Hilla Toony Navok at Artport Tel Aviv, resulting in ideas on aesthetics, space, design and kitsch that developed into collaboration, where each side supports the other, disrupts his work and surprises him.
David: In a quick glance, our works don’t seem that related. During our residency at Artport we discovered that we are interested in similar things – we both wander a lot before exhibitions, we are both extremely passionate about architecture, design, art and what lies between them. If I usually explore the areas of kitsch, display windows, Israeli home interiors and what can be found on their shelves, I believe that Toony is more attracted to home decor shops, furniture and the aesthetics of the Israeli home, mainly that of the periphery. Our artistic action is mostly of transformation – working with what is perceived as banal, peripheral and its decoration with feathers.
Toony: From my point of view, dealing with the everyday has to do with the abstract. I try to find traces and leftovers of abstract “high-class” aesthetics in my everyday surroundings.
David: When we realized we wanted to do something together, we searched for a place that interests us both and that will stimulate us; we thought of Japan in general and Tokyo in particular. Tokyo interested us as a city that, on one hand is filled with great chaos, though inside, things go about in perfect order and cleanliness. Precise and minimalistic aesthetics aside visual noise and redundancy. This physical journey you make in Japan – from the temple of electronics to the temple of Zen – is the type of journey we both try to achieve in our work, using the “cheap” as raw material and as a drive towards a rich aesthetic and spiritual experience.
Vardit: You chose the two colors that dominate the exhibition, blue and red, inspired by an Ikebana battle you witnessed as viewers: a battle in which two masters of flower arrangement compete in front of an audience. The audience votes for the arrangements according to the masters’ assigned colors, red or blue. In your exhibition at Artport you have, in fact, left only the outlines – the colors and the act of choice – leaving out the flowers themselves.
David: I believe that for the both of us, watching the battle was a very powerful moment – witnessing the artistic experience of many years (of the two Ikebana masters) condensed into such a short amount of time, five minutes. It reminded us a little of our own artistic practices – photography, sculpture and drawing. They too possess that crucial moment in which you just put everything down and “that’s it”.
Toony: For me, for example, drawing is never a sketch – it is a moment in time that has to be precise, an action I begin, I don’t erase and I don’t go back.
David: In the Ikebana battle, a choice is made by both, the contestants and the viewers. As such, in the exhibition, the space requires you to choose – left or right.
Toony: We thought of the gallery as a space within a space, and of the possibility of an “intermediate space”, a transition space, that mediates between the outdoors and the indoors, that mixes entering and exiting.
David: The temporary walls (of the intermediate spaces) function as a background, as an object and as dividers. We wanted to preserve the Japanese principle where the background and the object are equals.
Vardit: The temporary walls really become part of the exhibition, yet they also conceal the other objects in it.
Toony: For me, one of the most profound experiences in Japan was the aesthetic of screening. Something is placed almost everywhere to tone down the entrance, to block the view, to obstruct the complete image. In a restaurant, for example, there is a curtain made of fabric or paper to hide those who dine inside; in an outdoor food cart, an awning covering the standing costumers. And, of course, in the Buddhist temples, the rocks hide each other so the garden looks different from every angle. I was interested in the attempt to implement this in the space, to postpone the exposure, to prevent the peeking.
David: I actually didn’t think of it as screening, but rather as a call for peeking, an invitation.
Toony: It’s the same thing – the screening neutralizes the peeking but also provokes it.
Vardit: Even though there is an apparent division between the two sides of the gallery, each of you placed one of your artworks in the other’s side, a sort of gift.
Toony: I don’t think of half the gallery as “mine”. I see the space as a whole, which we thought of together.
David: The intervention in each other’s spaces was also important for the fusion as well as maintaining the feeling of uncertainty and surprise.
Toony: Each of us discovered something the other was thinking about from this intervention. Actually, it’s both a gift and a disturbance.
David: Funny, I see it as a gift and you see it as a disturbance.
What is very evident in Toony’s work, as opposed to mine, is that she sees the disruptions. If in my work I look for that which is “stretched” or “tightened”, I think Toony is in search for disruption and unraveling.
In the exhibition I have taken on part of her way of thinking. For example, in the photograph of the event hall there is a visible leg in the frame. At first, my instinct was to cut it out. Eventually I decided to leave it in – to work with the “disruption” and the “unraveling”.
Toony: It’s no coincidence that you call it a gift. I think that there is generosity in your practice, a view that brings out the best of the photographed subject, appropriates and embraces it at the same time. Before, you mentioned that in our works, we both attempt to bring out beauty and complexity from banality or poverty. I believe that many times, your work possesses a different kind of attempt, which in my opinion is even more daring – the attempt to deal with the beauty of something that is already “considered” beautiful.
NonFinito 201630.09.2016 - 30.08.2016
The end of Artport’s residency program’s fourth year continues the tradition of “NonFinito”, an exhibition that takes place at the end of the year and presents new projects and ideas that emerged during the residency, yet refuses to be a final or concluding exhibition.
While originally referring to unfinished Renaissance sculptures, the term “non finito” is also used to describe a desire to represent ideas in different stages, challenging notions of outcome, conclusion, and end, and leaving some open places for the viewer. The exhibition “NonFinito” presents works by the six artists in residence—Michal Baror, Hilla Toony Navok, David Adika, Naama Arad, Tamir Zadok, and Elad Rosen—who in the course of the last year have worked, talked, saw art, and created, side by side in Artport’s studios’ avenue.
Michal Baror presents The Bureau of Authentication, an installation that emerged from a performance she held over the summer in collaboration with the artist Patrick Hough in Artports’s Gallery. The documentation of objects and stories brought by the audience, transformed the Bureau from an abstract idea on the fine line of truth, to a living document that takes on different layers of reality and authenticity.
David Adika observes vases created in Israel in the 1960s and 1970s, examining the African motifs he identifies in them through painting, colors, and shapes. In a series of silkscreen prints, Adika explores African textiles, flattening the different origins, and continues his study of identity, definition, and origin through aesthetic means, as well as the West’s fascination with Africa.
Naama Arad works with the anatomy of everyday materials. She produces a world that is passionate yet cerebral, shifting between the childish and the artistic, apathetic and emotional. Her studio space in all its limitations—sink, support column, and AC unit—becomes a display space in which every object is given a second and third reading.
Elad Rosen isolates the elements that comprise his paintings. The juxtapositions of strawberries and skulls, bananas and severed organs, push the boundaries of good taste and test the viewer’s physical and mental capacity.
Hilla Toony Navok produces a personal language composed of everyday signs. Oscillating between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, the works use formalist lines and abstract ideas to produce an environment that feels foreign yet altogether familiar.
Tamir Zaok presents a fragment from a project in which he examines how facts can become stereotypes through the story of a former senior Mossad official who went on an undercover mission in Egypt as a French painter, employing staged photography, documentary photography and readymades, to expose different ways of looking at the “Orient”.
David's Resurrection23.05.2013 - 15.06.2013
Yair Perez’s solo exhibition was created following the artist’s personal encounter with the mentally ill as part of his work in recent years. The exhibition derives from the autobiographical aspect but offers at the same time an reflection and examination of the concepts of “madness” and “mental illness” in today’s society. The exhibition includes paintings and sculptures from the last three years and is accompanied by Menachem Goldberg’s text.
The work of Perez, an artist who is part of Artport’s artist residency program founded by the Arison Foundation, often engages in social content and marginalized images of Israeli society. This can also be seen in his earlier works, such as the Urban Nature series (2005-2008), which addressed street life in southern Tel Aviv through the lives of beggars, homeless people, and cart “draggers”, who became animal-hybrid creatures trying to survive. Perez’s other solo exhibition “Kitchen Works” (2010) dealt with the concept of “black work” and violent rituals portrayed through black humor and images of kitchen workers’ lives.
The UrburbMarch 3rd - May 9th, 2015
We are delighted to present a local and extended version for the Israeli Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. At Artpoprt’s gallery we’ve broaden the scope of the exhibition so you can also find additional research materials and short stories that were written especially for it.
The Urburb – a neologism referring to the mesh of the urban and suburban – characterizes the great majority of residential areas in contemporary Israel. The Urburb is a fragmented mosaic composed of the early-20th century garden-city, rural settlements, mid-20th century social housing, and the generic residential typologies of the past two decades.
This hybrid manifests the conflicting demands of the modernist machine functioning in the old-new land: to create small egalitarian communities while accommodating a large and diverse population; to spread throughout the country while converging and closing-in; and to reconnect to the land via a top-down planning system that treats the surface as a clean slate.
The Urburb is more than an architectural phenomenon; it is a state of mind and a form of living. Swinging between two parallel vectors – repetitive actions and fixed formations relentlessly working within a framework that has lost its simplicity, compactness and equality for the inflated and homogenous neo-liberal formations of today.
In order to explore these dynamics, the gallery is transformed into a contemporary construction site furnished with four large sandprinters. The site and the sand-printers delineate the story of decades of planning in Israel, in diverse scales shifting from national master plans to those of the single building. The printers are accompanied by a video and sound piece that transforms the Urbuban patterns and plays them like a music box.
Along side to the printers you can find at the Artport gallery additional materials that allow the visitor to delve into the everyday life of the Urburb it’s surroundings. Using 3D models of generic residential buildings, research materials and four short stories about the Israeli Urburban cities that were especially written for the exhibition are being read by their authors: Eshkol Nevo, Shimon Adaf, Julia Fermentto and Eyal Sagui Bizawe.
The Urburb is a new kind of Urban Suburbia, without a nuclease center but with it’s own rhythm and vitality. These are the all-Israeli “mundane” cities, places without/that lack a sense of holiness or mystery. The exhibition tries to capture what is usually hidden and simultaneously expose the complexities and it’s unique essence that it holds.
During the exhibition we will hold special conferences and meetings
During the exhibition we will host a few special events:
Patterns of Contemporary Living – On Friday, March 13 at 11AM Artport will host a special panel and tour in collaboration with The Minerva Center form the Tel-Aviv University. We’ll start with a tour of the exhibition guided by on of the exhibition curators, Roy Brand which will be followed by a discussion with Haim Yacobi (Ben-Gurion University), Esther Zandberg (‘Haaretz’), Eyal Sagui Bizawe (Bezalel) and Noam Yuran (Tel-Aviv University).
Street Credibility in Israel’s Urburb – On Friday. March 20 at 12.30PM the Urban Design Master’s Degree Program from Bezalel will hold an open discussion with Dr. Arch. Els Verbakel, Ran Haklai, Shamay Assif, Keren Yaela-Golan and Erez Ella.
Vanishing Point21.5.2016 - 14.4.2016
The exhibition Vanishing Point examines modes of constructing national narratives, while addressing questions of collective experiences and memories and the ways these are formed. Through the examination of different methods the artists turn their gaze inwards – exposing, examining, and playing with the production mechanisms which nations uses to establish and distinguish their identity, culture, and heroes.
The exhibition’s starting point is a series of concurrent events that took place in the Middle East and in the Indian subcontinent in 1947-1948, which unfolded around the end of the British rule in these areas. Through the works of Israeli, Palestinian, Indian, and Pakistani artists, the exhibition explores these parallel timelines that originate in the early 20th century, and wishes to reflect on the possibilities entailed in the encounter between them from a contemporary perspective. Derived from the world of painting, the title of the exhibition alludes to the view that this artistic point of convergence has the power to create a perspective, or indeed – a perception of depth.
The artists in the exhibition explore and employ diverse cultural means used to shape history and a distinct national identity. The exhibition features Amir Yatziv’s video, Man With Two Beards, which is based on illustrations in Israeli and Palestinian textbooks; the works of Farid Abu Shakra, in which he engages with Israeli stamps and the various national symbols they present; Noa Gur’s work, which takes place in the Israeli Wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in front of one of the canonical symbols of Israeli art (the painting Resting at Noon by Nahum Gutman); Imran Channa’s piece, in which he examines the codes surrounding the clothes and appearance of the first governor-general and founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The exhibition Vanishing Point is a joint project of Artport and the Art Gallery at Beit HaGefen – Arab-Jewish Culture Center in Haifa. The first installment was held in December 2015-February 2016.
Playing with Fire9.9.2014-18.10.2014
Since the early 2000’s scientists have been stating that we are living in a new geological era, the age of the Anthropocene. While previous changes in geological eras took place due to drastic alterations in the earth’s systems such as the fall of a meteor, the clash of tectonic plates, or massive volcanic eruptions, in the era of the Anthropocene, humanity has become a geological force.
It all started with fire. When our ancestors managed to control fire for their benefit a process of differentiation between the human species and all other life forms disentangled. Fire permitted humankind to protect itself from danger, to hunt more with fewer efforts and to make food more easily digestible. Mainly, fire permitted humankind to control energy and to save our body’s own energy – making it available for other activities, enhancing our mental and physical capabilities.
Since those first encounters with fire humankind has developed innumerable forms of energy extraction from sources available on the planet, setting of chains of events that have affected deeply and dangerously the earth’s systems. Humankind has become a force of change on the environment – by placing fiber optic cables that change the migration patterns of birds, performing extremely deep perforations in India that change the force of gravity or creating pesticide combinations that make bees disappear.
Stemming from these ideas, the exhibition Playing With Fire is born from the need to investigate and assume the role of humanity in its own environment. Eyal Assulin builds a machine that is neither woodpecker nor an oil pump, but resembles both by trembling the environment of the gallery, and reminding us of the impact that these machines have on the floor we stand on; Hila Amram invites a colony of bees to enter into the domestic space, and puts the relationship between the disappearing bees and humanity on its head; Alonso + Craciun tell stories formed on the broadest “river” in the world where the relationship between people, the stream of water and animals is necessary to survive; Shachar Freddy Kislev explores the narratives of minerals from the perspective of the rock, and Dana Levy displays the findings of a recently discovered military fort absorbed by the depths of the swamps and mangroves in Florida more than a century ago.
This exhibition aims to present how in this period of transition, in which we need to reprogram our behavior, art can serve as a window to explore attitudes of the past, the consequences that they had and what is required from us in the present and the future, for there to be a future, rather than uncertainty. Today is the only remaining day to think about this because while we keep playing with fire, we need to prevent everything from blowing up.
Decolonized Skies22.12.2015 - 15.01.2016
The exhibition Decolonized Skies examines the possibility of expropriating the aerial view from those in power (the military, the state, and large corporations), so that the knowledge produced via aerial photography for instance, will serve for the benefit of the citizens rather than used against them. This process of democratizing the view from above is currently the focus of many artists, scholars and activists, particularly in light of the growing use of digital mapping systems on the one hand, and the intensive use of military drones for surveillance and attack on the other hand. This process carries a direct and secondary impact on all of us, and the exhibition presents some of the most interesting projects conducted in this field in recent years by leading Israeli and international artists. With that, Decolonized Skies also addresses the growing trend in contemporary art of collaborations between artists, scientists, and scholars from different disciplines in the aim of finding a visual language that conflates the aesthetic with the ethical.
The works in Decolonized Skies present diverse and unconventional strategies that demonstrate the enormous potential inherent to the demilitarization of view from above. Some of the artists build aerial cameras, others invent new mapping methods, two of the artists build on the platform of Google Earth in order to understand how this new technology influences our life. In addition, the exhibition also includes a historical section that features the original famous photoSan Francisco in Ruins, captured by George Lawrence in 1906. On loan from the Chicago History Museum, this is the first time it is presented in a contemporary art exhibit.
* The exhibition will be accompanied by a diverse public program, featuring: a DIY aerial photography workshop, film screenings, symposium with the artists, and more (dates to be announced).
Earlier versions of the exhibition were held in New York and Barcelona. The first version won first prize out of hundreds of proposals sent in response to an open call of the New York art center Apexart, where it was exhibited in 2014.
About the curators:
Yael Messer and Gilad Reich have been collaborating as the curatorial duo High&Low Bureau since 2011. They displayed exhibition and film programs in some of the most renowned art centers in the world, including the Stedelijke Museum in Amsterdam, Matadero Art Space in Spain, the 13th Istanbul Biennial, and Apexartin New York. In Israel, the two exhibited the show Time/Resistanceat The Digital Art Lab (2013) to rave reviews. The text that they had written based on the research that led to the exhibition Decolonized Skies was published last year in the academic journal Theory and Criticism.
Yael Messer is an independent curator and head of the education department at the CCA in Tel Aviv. She holds a postgraduate diploma in curating from Goldsmith College, London, and participated at De Appel Curatorial Program, Amsterdam. She curated projects and exhibitions in collaboration with the Van Abbe Museum in the Netherlands, The Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, and Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery in Tel Aviv.
Gilad Reich is a curator, scholar, and journalist. Previously the head editor of Achbar Hair website, he is currently studying for his doctoral degree in the Art History Department in Tel Aviv, and collaborates with different cultural institutes. His texts are published in magazines, artist’s books, and catalogues in Israel and worldwide.
NonFinito 201514.07.2015 - 29.08.2015
Artport’s year-end show will occur in arbitrary moments in time. Moments before the residents program is over, however, not necessarily when their projects have been completed. For most of the artists’ in Artport third year… One year is not a long time to create projects. Since many of the projects only began in Artport this year, they will only continue to bloom. Nonfinito is not quite a year end show, it is more of an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the artist’s process of creation before the projects are completely done, but while they are already prepared to be exposed to the public eye.
The boulevard of transparent studios in Artport is misleading. It allows you to believe that you can peep into a certain secret sector of the art world- and many of our visitors often ask to look inside. In a time of increasing popularity of studio visits and artist talks, the impression is that you can uncover the art making process by just moving a curtain and opening a door. Actually, Artport is a work space which chooses 6 artists annually to work on their individual projects. While at the site, most of the time people are; answering emails, speaking on the phone, editing movies, noting ideas, and mixing colors.
Can you even truly peep into this creative process? Can you put it in writing? In photos? In only a short visit?
Guy Goldstein has been busy in the last few years translating colors to sound and back. His ambitious projects include; numerous attempts, paintings, and prints- however, he only considers a few of them as completed works that will find their way into a gallery space. How does one decide when work is done? When is the translation only a draft and when is it a work of art? Looking into some of the papers he has left behind in his meticulous sorting process will raise questions about the differing eyes of the artist, curator, and audience.
Hinda Weiss accumulates video material in the real world and transforms the footage into ongoing surreal scenes. She collects material from the here and now, and in her studio she manipulates the footage by deconstructing it and reassembling it to blur the lines between the tenses. Through this action she tries to decipher how the past, present, and future can all exist at once.
Natalia Zourbaova was constantly painting throughout the year. In the last two months of the year she got stuck at Artport’s shared kitchen and began repeating the process of documenting the weekly cooking routine. In the exhibition, Natalia will expose the long process that leads to her final pictures. She will display the numerous repeated attempts of drawings, some done later when looking with fresh eyes and returning to the same spot in place and time.
Tzion Abraham Hazan dedicated this year to creating two movies that will only be released in 2016. In the exhibition, Tzion will present a video installation that will reveal the methods that he is using for his film. Tzion addresses the manner in which the angle chosen to shoot a video establishes a certain body image and the connection of that image to a tangible experience.
Ron Amir is a long-term photographer, his last project took him 12 years. His photos taken in Cholot detention center uncover the reality of temporariness and transition. These photos are only the beginning of the relationship Ron has built with people who yearn for him more than anything.
Public Movement will operate Debriefing 2- a one on one with an agent of public movement during which a complex array of connections and conversations that were a part of the groups research about modern art done in Palestine prior to 1948 is being displayed. Debriefing is using their moment of passage or transformation between research and action. By transforming the debriefed audience to agents of information. The action of debriefing while the work is still being finalized is a sort of rehearsal to examine and to shape the action and thus the participants and their reaction has an impact on the final structure of the action.
NonFinito 201415.07.2014 - 16.08.2014
A residency program is a place that is quintessentially in-between. Neither fully the polished venue of the gallery nor entirely the private enclave of the studio, it is a liminal place that is often open to the public but still rough around the edges. Often described as a laboratory, the residency program is a place where creative people are given free reign to experiment as they work side-by-side with likeminded individuals. Over the last twelve months, Boris Oicherman, Noa Gur, Leor Grady, Nevet Yitzhak, Guy Pitchon, and curator Rani Lavie met at Artport on a weekly basis, talking, debating, and cooking. All of them were coming from different practices, different interests, and different points of view. The end result of their time together is neither collective nor solitary. They are neighbors, sharing resources and exchanging information as they work not together but alongside one another.
Non Finito presents the results of this neighborly dialogue. Unlike a typical year-end exhibition what is exhibited here is a glimpse into these artists’ working processes and research. Some projects present a new chapter in an ongoing body of work, while others mark the beginning of an entirely new line of research. Idiosyncratic and open-ended, Non Finito invites visitors to sample these works-in-process in proximity and loose dialogue with each other.
Noa Gur explores the limits of recognition and visibility through the cultural and political forces that define their boundaries. She presents two projects that examine these forces in the context of the art world on the one hand and in a national context on the other. A video work tells the story of a night tour in the Art Dubai art fair, and subsequent censorship regarding an exhibition displaying the world map. In a new sculptural work, Gur explores biometric identity as an objective identity that ignores cultural codes that block our visual field.
Guy Pitchon dissembles icons taken from the world of prison tattoos in Russia. These tattoos, which function in prison as an internal language and an informal form of identification, transforms into a new language in the hands of Pitchon. In this case, Pitchon’s scarred flesh is glass–as transparent as the walls of the prison inured to the artist himself–mocking attempts to control while at the same time planning an escape.
Boris Oicherman presents a sculptural element inside the studio in which he worked for the past year, and which he is soon about to leave. The installation consists of sixteen industrial fans that hang as a single curtain, acting as a barrier. The fans push visitors out of the space while at the same time seducing them to come in and refresh themselves from the heat. The installation is a continuation of Oicherman’s research into the construction of multi-sensual environments, and the artist’s interest in the user’s passive or active experience with the work of art.
Leor Grady presents “Oh Kinneret”, a series of works that examine the status of the Sea of Galilee as a secular nationalist archetype. The series considers the Kinneret’s image as it appears in the writings of Rachel the Poet and the letters of Yemenite immigrants who were called to come and work there, and, like Rachel, were later exiled under unfortunate circumstances. Using embroidery, painting and sculpture, Grady confronts the common narrative of the Kinneret as a place that defined the Zionist vision, and the reality and emotional toll it took.
The exhibition “Exceptional”, curated by Rani Lavie, deals with the exhibition “Exception-Contemporary art scene of Prishtina” (2008) at Kontekst gallery in Belgrade. A presentation of contemporary art from Kosovo, the exhibition was closed due to violent riot during opening night by Serb nationalists who considered it as a betrayal.
Double Bind17.5.2014 - 7.5.2014
With the show ‘Double Bind’, Artport presents the first solo exhibition of Berlin based Austrian artist Clemens Krauss in Israel.
The show combines a series of paintings with recent video works. Physical treatment of paint responds to biographically embedded identity, approached through a narration which follows free association.
Throughout his artistic oeuvre, Krauss deals with the significance and meaning of gestures. By analyzing the motivations behind poses, movements and language of interaction in various contexts and their medial representation, Krauss points out the in-between, the hidden and subtle content within. Bearing the implied but severe substance, Krauss´ new series of paintings reveal individuals in devastated surroundings. First, causing an attraction in its aesthetical abstract composition, the works surprise with their deeply socio-analytical symbolism.
In his video work ‘Double Bind’ Krauss looks at the correlation of his social, political and cultural environment in the settings of Tel Aviv and Berlin. The video shows a fictional dialogue between two people from different generations and backgrounds who don’t know each other and have never met. Their realities seem to exist parallel to each other. Talking about their desires, opinions and perspectives regarding the historical and very current path of both cities, the two individuals almost never cross each other´s world.
In ‘The Taster’ an old lady is filmed while eating. Margot Wölk, born 1917 in Berlin, was obligated to taste the meals of Adolf Hitler for possible poisoning in the final years of World War II. She is known as the last living testimony of this kind of apparatus. The video shows her during an action that is both existential and intimate and bizarre – regarding her duty as Hitler’s food-taster.
The video ‘ER’, a collaboration with renowned German film director Benjamin Heisenberg, has more biographical connotations. Own film material, which the artist has shot in his earliest teenage years, has been reassembled to a story of a fictitious, peculiar character known only as ‘ER’ (He). A computer-generated voice relates this boy’s history, who grows up in a rural environment near the German-Austrian border and blackmails his parents with outbursts of rage and simulated epileptic fits.
Clemens Krauss focuses in his work on different body concepts, which conceive of the body as a site of political conflicts and interpersonal relationships, thematize its performative appropriation of experiences, or consider it as an ambivalent bearer of private history and personal identity. At the same time, his works emphasize the specifically organic quality of “bodies” in a broader sense, including also working material and living environments.
Born 1981 in Austria, Krauss has presented his works in numerous international solo and group exhibitions and has realized site-specific installations in both institutional and commercial exhibition spaces.
Recent exhibitions include institutions such as Kunstmuseum Bonn, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art Berlin, MOCA Los Angeles, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, MAM Museo de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 he participated in the exhibition ‘I am a Berliner’ at the Tel Aviv Museum, showing international painting positions from Berlin.
Living as Form26.12.2013 – 1.3.2013
Artport are pleased to present the local version of the New York-based exhibition Living as Form – exhibited in New York in 2011 by the art organization Creative Time and has since been shown in local versions around the world in collaboration with ICI.
“Living as Form” presents the wide variety of socially involved art and its various modes of operation around the world as well as in Israel. From a ship that goes out to extraterrestrial water and operates abortions in countries where it is forbidden to a choir singing complaints from around the world, from Vic Moniz’s work with garbage sorters in Brazil to the foreign workers’ library at Levinsky Garden in southern Tel Aviv, from the destroyed homes Chris Lowe has rebuilt in Texas to giant chalks placed by Allora & Calzadilla throughout the world, “Living as Form” presents art that tries to change reality.
Socially involved art challenges traditional artistic discourse as it adopts goals and techniques from non-art related fields and mixes the various categories – community work, urban planning, civic agendas, tradition preservation, revolutions and more. It is often difficult to define them as art, but it is always interesting and important to test and try to define their influence.
By nature it is difficult to view these actions in the gallery. The archival representation – through images, video and text is a mere pale shadow of the real action that has taken place. And yet, the phenomenon’s scope, the wide geographic range, and diverse nature of those actions, indicate the way such works fit into the social and political arena and become part of a new reality.
The original exhibition was presented by Creative Time in New York, 2011, curated by Nato Thompson
Local version curators: Vardit Gross, Sigal Barnir, and Yael Moriah Klein. Advisor: Leah Abir.
Participants include the Architecture Biennale in Bat Yam, Artim Orginization (Levinsky Library), Angelo Burgo Cobro, Susan Lacey, Katrina Sade, Alora and Calzadilla, Vic Muniz, Rick Lowe, Ai Weiwei, Bread and Roses, Amir Tomashov, Nissan Almog, Meir Tati and many others.
NonFinito 201318.07.2013 - 27.07.2013
Non Finito is neither a group show, nor an end-of-year exhibition. Instead, it is a celebration of twelve months of intellectual exchange and cohabitation between the first six Israeli residents of Artport: artists Einat Amir,
Rafram Chaddad, Ido Michaeli, Yair Perez, Ronit Porat, and curator Maayan Sheleff.
The Italian term Non Finito [unfinished] is mainly used to define an art technique, and was originally related to certain works by Renaissance artists, such as Donatello and Michelangelo. Mainly associated with the medium of sculpture, it also became a way to underline a deliberate desire for presenting ideas that are not yet completely developed. Furthermore, the use of Non Finito became a statement by those artists, whose confidence allowed them to go beyond their constraints, challenging their usual practices outside their comfort zone.
Following this notion, Non Finito aims to showcase ideas, objects, experiments, and interventions that have not reached their final stages and are yet to be experienced. Continuing her performative practice based on social experimentations, Einat Amir will present studies of her upcoming project, to be presented at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art in the fall.
Probably for the first time, Rafram Chaddad will transform his usually ephemeral and relational works into commodities: he will literally produce art objects encapsulating his unique personal history.
Bringing the notion of “open studio” to a higher level of sophistication, Ido Michaeli will exhibit the current stage of his project, which will be presented at The Sharon Garden known as Ha’chashmal [electricity] Garden, in Tel Aviv. He will turn his workspace at Artport into an architect studio, unveiling his master plan and research, regarding this historical urban site of Tel Aviv.
Usually working with traditional media such as painting, drawing, and sculpture, Yair Perez will instead push himself onto a new stage of creativity, transforming Lucie Fontaine’s empty studio into a hybrid of an installation and a tableaux vivant.
Ronit Porat will translate the introspective and self-analysis characteristics of her work, into an act of clearing the studio, only to then reinstall it within the gallery space. The intimate space of the deconstructed studio will serve as an examining room for her current work in progress.
Questioning, in a very subtle way, the ever more blurring boundary between art-making and exhibition-making, curator Maayan Sheleff – who played a pivotal role in this first year of residency at Artport – will present her new and exciting invention.